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Agreement with IMF to be signed before next budget

Agreement with IMF to be signed before next budget

ISLAMABAD: The agreement with IMF is now expected to be signed even before the next budget, said sources at the finance ministry. They said the budget has already been prepared as per the terms of IMF. The IMF actually wants micro-management in Pakistan for two financial years, 2019-2020 and 2020-2021.  The budget of these two fiscal years will be reflective of the conditions imposed by IMF.

It is expected that the new advisor, who enjoys good ties in IMF and other international lenders, will agree to the IMF suggestions and would waste no time in availing the next programme,” sources said, adding that Sheikh knows how to deal with IMF, where he enjoys cordial relations with many of his former colleagues.

Sources claimed that IMF had made it clear to the government that it can make budgetary policies for the remaining three financial years. Ex Finance Minister Asad Umar was reluctant to accept few IMF conditions and now Hafeez Sheikh, without caring about the political damages and oppositions, would do what the economic and market situation deserves.

Umar had categorically said that it would be difficult to accept the IMF’s demand regarding 6pc increase in the FBR’s revenue collection,” sources said. As a result of the IMF programme, economists believed that the rate of inflation would increase further, while currency would be devalued again. However, they added, the new head at the finance ministry would not hesitate to take unpopular decisions to meet the IMF conditions.

Unlike an elected member and political finance minister, Sheikh, as we have seen him previously, will not be confronting media and public. The advisor has also reportedly made it clear to the premier that he would not tolerate any interference in his ministry and that he would make decisions independently,” said sources.